Paul Scholes comes out of retirement, aged 43, to play for son's Saturday football team

FC United of Manchester v Salford City - National League North

Some legendary stories have been told about Paul Scholes down the years.

From Zinedine Zidane and Xavi naming him as their favourite ever player to almost being axed at Manchester United as a youth prospect, the Englishman has his fair share of tales to tell.

Arguably the best one, though, was when he came out of retirement in 2012 to play against Manchester City in a huge Manchester derby.

None of United's players were aware of Scholes' return until then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson named him on the bench.

United won 3-2 that day and Scholes played the final 30 minutes, recording a 97% passing accuracy while wearing a pair of £40 boots bought from JJB Sports days before.

"How much of a surprise was Paul Scholes' return for Manchester United in last Sunday's controversial derby?" wrote Steve Anglesey at the time.

"The Ginger Ninja only made his mind up to come out of retirement on the previous Thursday, then realised he'd given away his old boots.


"The scruffy ones he'd been using while working with United's kids wouldn't be fit for purpose. Did he immediately phone Nike or Adidas to sort out a few free pairs and a lucrative sponsorship deal?

"No - he headed to JJB Sports and bought a pair of 'match fit' boots - for £40."

It's been five years since Scholes went back into retirement after his 18-month spell at United and on Saturday he once again returned to the pitch.


Only this time it was for Royton Town against Stockport Georgians in the Manchester Premier League - the 11th tier of football.

Royton were short of players for the match so they told their opponents they were bringing in a 43-year-old father to help out.

Little did Stockport know, it was Manchester United legend Paul Scholes.

So how he get on? Well, you can watch two clips of Scholes in action below - in one video he loses a 50/50 tackle - but he was unable to prevent Royton from losing 1-0.

Class. Despite the defeat, Royton manager Mark Howard hailed Scholes for "raising the level of those around him by 10-15%", including his own son, Arron.

"We had eight or nine of our senior players missing and Paul said he'd be happy to help out if we were ever short as his son Arron plays for us," said Howard, per the BBC.

"It's great for the league. He raises the level of those around him by 10-15% and opponents don't want to look stupid in front of him."

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